Monthly Archives: September 2013
BPW Barbados is pleased to announce “Women: Power & Potential – Opportunity through Enterprise”, a women’s economic empowerment conference and the launch of the Commonwealth Business Women’s Agenda for Women’s Economic Empowerment. From September 27th – 28th at the Radisson Hotel, Barbados this event will feature a host of high level speakers from the Commonwealth and international business arena, including the BPW International President Freda Miriklis from Australia, Arif Zaman from the Commonwealth Business Council and other leaders from the business, political and development spheres.
Female entrepreneurs and professionals have tremendous potential in the area of business. Access to finance, women on boards and development of gender based procurement have been identified as priority areas in the development of women-owned businesses. The CBW 5 Ps’: Potential – Progression – Platform – Procurement – Policy further defines this and builds on the theme of the 10th WAMM (Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting) “Women’s Leadership in Enterprise”, held this year in Dhaka. The theme highlights the importance of female representation in the economy, decision-making processes, leading banks and state-level policy-making organisations. This summit targets business and professional women in all sectors, female entrepreneurs, corporate entities and NGOs.
Contact BPW Barbados at firstname.lastname@example.org or 246-836-5068 for further information or find us on FACEBOOK. Click on the following link to see our poster:
Bowen: Round one against domestic violence has been won
President of the Clement Payne Movement David Comissiong and President of the National Organisation of Women, Marilyn Rice-Bowen
Round one against domestic violence in Barbados has been won.
At least that is the belief of President of the National Organisation of Women, Marilyn Rice-Bowen, who told an audience at the first ever rally against domestic violence, that success was happening.
“So far we can comfortably say we have won round one because when I check the [paper] of September 11, Minister Byer-Suckoo stated that the Cabinet recently accepted the recommendations to update the Domestic Violence Protection Order Act. So ladies clap for that. We have won round one. We still have far to go, but we are getting things moving and to get things moving you have to agitate.”
She noted that the Acting Commissioner of Police, Tyrone Griffith, had also spoken yesterday on the success of the Family Conflict Unit, on which the BPW (Barbados) had been instrumental in working with police.
“Women in Barbados are working. You might not hear it every day, you might not see us every day, but trust me, we are working on your behalf. So the police are talking about the work of the Family Intervention Unit, how it has been going, the fact that they were seeing a lot of cases, but that is what BPW were saying all along,” she noted. She told the audience that the rally was intended to start a wave in Barbados, aimed at breaking the silence on domestic violence.
“We need to break the silence. Our women have been suffering in silence for too long… We are aiming to break the silence. We are not aiming to break the silence to expose people, we are breaking the silence to assist you. Very often in our ‘walk-abouts’ we meet men … and when we talk about domestic violence one of the men said, ‘that is what you call it? It is just a little lash to keep she in shape’.
“We need to tell the men, we need to tell the boys, that that is domestic violence and women all over this country, and men too, ought to denounce domestic violence.
“So in Barbados we are starting a wave. We are going to go right through the entire country because this message must be heard, and not only are we going to speak to you, but we have trained counsellors here tonight who are able to counsel anybody that needs assistance,” said Rice-Bowen, adding that even before the rally begun two women had come for assistance.
In addition to speeches from advocates from BPW (Barbados), the Bureau of Gender Affairs, the church, a Government minister, Barbados Nurses Association, a UN Women representative, Soroptimist, and other interest groups, there were also presentations from singer Bobo, who performed a new original song Treasure Woman, from mime Andr√ Belle, dancer Sandra Nicholls and spoken word artist, Adrian Green. (LB)
Hitting not right: People must be taught that violence is wrong
It is not okay to hit, and society must teach its girls and boys that lesson if domestic violence is to end.
That was the message of UN Women Multi-Cultural Office Representative, Christine Arab, as she addressed the first rally on domestic violence hosted by the National Organisation of Women last night in Heroes Square.
Arab told the crowd of mostly women and a few men that it was commendable that the Barbados Government was soon to enact related legislation, but the scourge of domestic violence would not end until people begin to believe it is bad to hit a women.
Hitting, she stressed, was not a sign of love, as many women believed, asking why it was mothers were the first ones immediately blamed when their sons abused women.
In Canada, she said spousal abuse cost the government $7 billion annually, and the direct cost of women being out of work, medical care accounted for $2 billion of that.
It was a cycle that had to stop, she contended, even as fellow presenter and President of the Barbados Nurses Association, Blondelle Mullin, noted domestic violence had an adverse impact on the health of the abused and even her children.
“The direct and immediate physical effects of domestic violence include injuries such as bruises, cuts, broken bones, lost teeth and hair, miscarriage, stillbirth and other complications of pregnancy,” Mullin said.
“The results of domestic violence can also be long-term and may cause or worsen, chronic health problems of various kinds, including asthma, epilepsy, digestive problems, migraine, hypertension, and skin disorders.
“Domestic violence also has an enormous effect on your mental health, and may lead to increased use of alcohol, drugs and other substances. The health of your children is also likely to have been seriously affected from witnessing abuse directed at you, and also in many cases from abuse which they themselves may have suffered.”
Former President of NOW, Nalita Gajadhar, made her contribution to the rally, questioning what more could be done, and adding that each time there was a death due to domestic violence, advocates asked that question.
Not everyone left after the first slap or hit, she stated, urging friends to not get frustrated and abandon their female counterparts to suffer abuse alone.
“Do not let your friend be isolated… Isolation is the best thing for the man. When they know you are there, they feel better,” she said, adding that if more women felt they had a sympathetic friend it could help them with their own decisions to leave.
President of the BPW (Barbados), Marrianne Burnham, encouraged men to join with the women’s organisations to end domestic violence. She challenged that “prevention is key”, noting that children had to be educated at the primary level, adding that this could ensure they were reached before actions of abuse were solidified in the young.
“We have to focus on prevention, to get to them, our young boys, before they get to prison,” she noted. (LB)